Business manager confidence grows
BUSINESS managers are confident in their own businesses despite increased concerns about the wider economic environment, according to the latest business sentiment survey from IBEC.
The group's chief economist Fergal O'Brien said: "Managers' confidence in the performance of their own businesses improved to +13 in Q4 from zero balance in Q3 and the forward-looking index remained positive at +7 in Q4."
Rising input prices pile pressure on
RISING commodity prices will likely put pressure on margins at the likes of Kerry Group and Aryzta, but would benefit Origin Enterprises, according to Joe Gill of Bloxham Stockbrokers. Rises in soft and hard commodities together with oil are at two-year highs and "it is hard to tell if this is based on fundamentals or part of a year-end risk trade but it does have implications across the agrifood world," said Mr Gill. "Rising soft commodity prices (eg wheat, sugar) impose inflated costs on users, including Kerry and Aryzta, and both will have to manage these higher input prices," he added.
UK corruption probe fines BAE €0.6m
UK defence contractor BAE Systems has been ordered to pay a £500,000 (€590,000) fine and £250,000 costs to settle a long-running corruption probe into the sale of air traffic control systems to Tanzania. The company agreed to pay the balance of a £30m plea bargain with the Serious Fraud Office to Tanzania in reparation for its part in the $40m (€30m) sale. The fines relate to a charge of failing to keep records.
Half of staff want shorter holidays
The Christmas holiday is too long, almost half of workers questioned for a new survey believe. Some 977 employees were questioned in the first two weeks of the month, with 46pc complaining the festive break stretched out too far. Some 34pc admit they would be happy to be working. Alan Price, Peninsula Ireland managing director, said Christmas can prove costly and some would prefer to make money rather than spend it."